Hope In Difficult Times

I love Easter and all it stands for. Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. He was raised from the dead three days later. Because of His sacrifice, we have hope that we will live forever. While Christmas and Easter is the most important observances for Christians, it is a sad and depressing time for others who feel there is no hope. Crisis Hotline Numbers at the bottom of this blog post.

People are finding themselves alone and depressed. For those who doesn’t think there is any hope and that the can’t go on, I would like to say that there is Good News! Help is there for anyone who asks, and not the kind a Dr will give you. You won’t find this in pills or therapy. I is the kind of hope that is based on the promises of God.

praise

For much of my life there has been disappointments and hardships. Not just for me, but for man in general. Over the past few months I have heard about a number of suicides that happened in the little town I live in. I have also had some very dear friends that decided that was the only answer for them.

The latest suicide that happened here in my town was where a guy killed himself at my daughters work. This happened just last week. While I don’t have all the details and I don’t need them, his actions reminded me how much people are hurting. Some of the comments that people made on the news pages was horrible. They were calling the person selfish and making a mockery out of his actions. We don’t know what was going through his mind at the time he took his life. Each and every comment I read, would make me more upset. People don’t get it. I don’t see suicide as selfish. I see it as a call for help that came to late.

Today, more and more people are finding themselves alone and depressed. I have many friends who are suffering with helplessness and depression. For them to just get up in the morning and take a shower is difficult for them. A very dear friend of mine suffers from Manic Depression. She tried to take her life at least 5 times and the last time she almost accomplished it. I would take her to the ER and she was treated like she had the plague when it came to the nurses and the Dr’s in the ER.

I get upset when I listen to what people say about those who have mental illness. It isn’t like they asked for it and they do the best they can do. I would take a medical diagnosis any day instead of having a mental illness. There were times I had to take medications that would alter the way I perceived things. I couldn’t control what I was saying or doing. I thought I was loosing my mind on this medication they prescribed me for Girardia, which is contaminated water. I have no concept of reality and was thinking I was hearing voices. It scared me so bad when I got into my car to go somewhere, I didn’t know where. Just that short experience made me very much aware of some of what those who have mental illness goes through each and every day.

The sadness and despair has a way of overtaking their lives. Those who don’t have mental illness may have times in their lives when they are sad and depressed, but for those who have clinical depression, it has got to be a nightmare they can’t wake up from. Today more and more people are finding life hopeless and they are filled with despair. One of my friends that is going through a divorce has been extremely depressed. Her life is crashing down around her. She is loosing everything and to have mental illness on top of that, it is to much for her on most days.

  • Paul wrote that when you place your trust in God He will fill you with peace, joy, and assurance, (Rom 15:13).

When my friend went on to describe what it was like for her to live with Bi-Polar/Manic Depression and she also had schizophrenia, she said it was like she was living in hell and filled with endless despair and constant desires to take her life. she felt hopeless and she knew in her mind that she would be better off dead and that it would make other peoples lives easier if she was no longer around.

anxietymentalhealthillnessbipolarThankfully she is still with us, even though it is a daily battle that she fights. People make lite of those who have mental illness or they think they are going to catch the mental illness like they could catch cooties. People killing themselves because they feel they have no other choice is very sad. When Dr’s and nurses treat them the way they do if they seek help, I can see why they stop asking for help.

Here in St. George, just over the last month, we have had a couple suicides and the comments from the public is appalling. When I hear comments like, “well, at least that’s one less person on welfare” or they are better off dead since they are taking up space in the world, it makes me sick. When people makes these types of comments, I feel they are lower than the one who felt they had no other choice. My prayers goes out to all the families and friends of those who lost their lives because they felt that was all they could do.

A number of years ago, a very special young man that is like a nephew to me hung himself. Brian had many demons and suffered from depression in addition to difficulties in relationships and life. One day he decided he would hang himself. When I got the call from his parents, I felt like the world came crashing down. His choice tore the hearts right out of his parents, siblings and daughter. I don’t think he was selfish, I think he was hurting so bad that he didn’t know where to turn. For him, that was the only answer to end his pain and the pain of those around him. I don’t think he had the mental capacity to see what it would do to those he loved and that loved him. Brian will always be missed.

Then a few years ago, a young man named Frankie killed himself. In his note, he was saying how he didn’t want to ruin his daughters life like his life was ruined. He loved his daughter so much that he didn’t want to destroy her life. He made some really bad choices and was living his own hell on earth. He seen no other way out.

Just by looking at a person, we don’t know what baggage s they carry. I think more needs to be done when it comes to mental illness. It seems like the way society is treating them is by locking them up or ignoring they exist. People and things will always let us down. In Psalms 33;17, the horse, often used as a symbol of power, is declared a vain hope for deliverance; despite all of it’s strength, it cannot save. We are also warned in Jeremiah 17:5 that God warns us against being dependent on man and calls it a curse.

I would love to tell people that even at our lowest points in our lives, God’s word say’s He will never leave or forsake you (Matthew 28:20). He will give you peace and comfort even in the worst of circumstances. I know without a doubt that God will lead us out of the much of our situation and plant our feet on solid ground.

What I find awesome is that, God is the God of new beginnings, and nothing is impossible for Him. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, we just need to trust in Him because with God, it is always a new beginning and a new day. I was thinking of this today when it comes to a few of my friends who are divorcing, loss of loved ones, financial woes and other things that knock us to the ground, that while those things are bad, trusting God in difficult times forces us to seek His guidance and to trust Him.

Throughout the Bible God proves His faithfulness to His people by leading them safely through, or delivering them from all their predicaments and troubles. He will never leave or forsake His people; His plans are to prosper, not to harm them (Jer 29:11).

I have found in my life when it comes to my medical diagnosis, prognoses and so on is that in Psalm 16 is a great source of encouragement when you are in need of hope, Psalm 16:7-9 states I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoice: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

I could never imagine what life would be like if I didn’t have hope that Jesus Christ is going to be there for me. Help and hope is available to all who ask. It isn’t like we wish God would help out and come to our rescue, but to have complete faith that God is and will be there to rescue us. I stand on the promises of God.

  • “May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing  with hope.” (Rom 15:13, ).

When we trust in God, it takes faith and courage, but it is so worth it. The path that God has for us is the only one that will lead us to real happiness and peace. We must put our faith and trust in Christ alone. When we truly do that, we will find or I have found that while there is going to be hardships and sadness, I am able to bear them because His grace is sufficient. Once you open your heart and welcome Him in, you will find hope even in the worst situations. I would never have gotten to this point in my life if it wasn’t for Jesus Christ.

My favorite verse in the Bible is Psalms 46:1. This verse has gotten me through many difficult times in my life. It says, “God is our refuge and strength, ever present in times of trouble”. I love this verse because as Christians we should always pray! Even in the darkest moments when you don’t feel His presence and think you will never smile again, pray anyway, because He is there. He is listening, and is an “ever present help in time of trouble,”

  • Even if you reach what you consider to be your lowest point, God’s Word say’s He will never leave or forsake you, (Matt 28:20).

Those who trust in the Lord can find peace during times of crises and trials that often drive others to drink or suicide. This is the blessed comfort of the Holy Spirit, who indwells each and every born again Believer.

Through Him, even in the midst of terrible devastating and humiliating experiences, Christians can have the peace, joy, and hope that passes all understanding, (Phil 4:7).

Jesus is our solid rock, and because of Him, death is not the end. Even when the angels carry us to our glorious home in Heaven, we can know that He is with us, and that it is just the beginning.

Emergency Numbers and Contacts for Southern Utah- Information found on St. George News.

When suicide or violence puts a life in danger, call 911 immediately.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or may be a victim of domestic violence, these lifelines offer help 24/7:

  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Utah Domestic Violence LINKLine – 1-800-897-LINK (5465)

Additionally, Utah has crisis support lines available 24/7, for those who feel they need support or want to speak with someone about how traumatic incidents have impacted them.

Merry Christmas and Happy Easter

Copy of Letter we sent with our Christmas Easter Cards a couple weeks ago.

Merry Christmas and Happy Easter

11013567_10203925938365659_1278462681577271_nOur family has been doing something different for Christmas over the past couple of years. This year we are continuing with this tradition.

Christmas day is on December 25th each year. But not in our house. For many reasons, we have moved our Christmas to Easter Sunday. The birth of Christ wouldn’t have happened on December 25th anyhow. December 25th has for the most part become more of a day that benefits stores and has become way to commercialized. The day isn’t about Christ.

There are many people who don’t have the money to buy presents for their children, family and friends. Many goes into debt so they can buy gifts or put bills off in place of gift giving. Not everyone will have a hot meal or be surrounded by loved ones. I have known many who have passed away or committed suicide because the sorrow they have experienced during the most joyous of all holidays. Our daughters have families of their own and by the time Christmas in December comes around, they don’t have extra money they can spend on gifts and such. They also don’t have to worry about which parents house they will go to for dinner. By moving our Christmas to Easter, it gives them the opportunity to pay their bills and not feel stressed over money, gifts or time. I don’t think Christ would want us to go into debt and be stressed out over gifts when it is and should be all about Christ.

20676243-John-3-16-in-the-Bible-Stock-PhotoI know there are elements of the day that are about Christ and it is a struggle each year when it comes to trying to keep Christ in CHRISTmas. I’m pretty sure Christ would be happy with the way things are now. Christ gets lost in the shuffle. So, at our house we celebrate Christmas at Easter. We celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ, while remembering that He died on the cross for our sins and was raised from the dead three days later. We have a big family dinner that is enjoyed by all.It is very pleasant and rewarding when we do our Christmas and Easter like this. It puts the focus on Christ, instead of all the other things and the man in the red suit.

  •    John 3:16, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Merry-Christmas-2013

But what is the real meaning of Christmas?

Many would say that Christmas is about spending time with family, gifts under the tree and spreading messages of peace and love to those we care about the most. It is for some a time to send Christmas cards out once a year, playing in the snow and wishing everyone a “Merry Christmas”. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree decorated and Christmas music being sung and played over the radio.

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. Christmas and Easter is our families most important observances of the year. It is a time of joy. Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. God sent His Son into the world to be born. Because Jesus was born, His life and death is about love, hope and truth. When He came into this world as a babe, He brought salvation to all of us. Without Jesus, we would all die because of our sins.

Jesus was born and He died on the cross for all of our sins. When we confess that we are sinners, we can ask Him to forgive us and come into our hearts.

As we get ready to celebrate the birth and death of Jesus Christ, we know that the peace and joy we receive will last forever. God will meet all of your needs.

  •   I John 1:9, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.”

Why Do We Celebrate Easter?

happy easter
On Easter Sunday we commemorate the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the grave on the third day after His crucifixion and death on Calvary.
“Jesus said … ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die’” (John 11:25–26).
Easter is the day when we celebrate Jesus Christ rising from the dead. Jesus is the Son of God and heroically gave His life to die for our sins. On the third day after He died — the day we now celebrate as Easter Sunday — His friends went to His grave, and found that He had risen from the dead. They saw an angel who told them, “Don’t be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He has been raised from the dead, just as He said it would happen.”

God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.

Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life — of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me.”
May God bless you with His joy this Christmas/Easter season!